You had me with your words. You lost me with your actions.
Have you heard a great pitch?
They come at you from all angles. Strangers, colleagues, spouses, children, employers, employees, students, teachers, coaches and more.
The pitch is the opener. The first few lines that set the tone, whet the appetite, and create the opportunity for so much more to follow.
Many are adept at the pitch. They study and learn what to say and how to say it. As a parent, the first time your child delivers a pitch, it is both comical and fascinating at the same time. You are witnessing a fresh mind that has made observations of you, evaluated those observations and formulated a strategy, no matter how rudimentary it may be… and there it is.
We fall for many pitches over the course of time. Some may prove to be spot on for us, and others, just a gateway to disappointment.
Many people who pitch, have zero followthrough. They did not master that part, only the part where they ask for your indulgence of some sort or another. Once acquired, you will discover over time, that only a select few actually live up to, or better the pitch with their followthrough.
The degree of disappointment we may choose to feel at the discovery that their actions are not living up to their promises is directly proportional to the extent that we are willing to indulge the other party in our overall belief in what the value of them having given us their word, truly is.
If they are credible, we are more prone to create an allowance. If they are impish and cute as a button, like our children are, we give them more latitude. If we are in love with them and want to believe in what they are promising, we extend ourselves and our belief, even further. All the more reason, then, that we feel the crushing disappointment when their actions prove to be vacant and their willingness or desire to correct those actions, nonexistent.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If we continue to make allowances in favor of a party who does not find strength and value in living up to their words, we are the long term casualty in the equation. We are the ones who are getting burned by false statements, once again.
In the end, we have only our own internal barometer to help us navigate this difficult chapter in our lives. But one only need pick up the pieces after a few prior crashes, before one is far less likely to enable a good wordsmith to craft yet another promise that goes unfulfilled.